Execs express dystopian view of Trump presidency's impact on healthcare

Healthcare IT News and Healthcare Finance surveyed readers and found many are anxiously expecting short-term chaos, skyrocketing costs, increased fraud and uninsured people dying after president-elect Donald Trump moves into the White House. 
By Tom Sullivan
06:36 AM
dystopian Trump healthcare

Photo credit: Michael Vadon via Wikimedia Commons.

What effects do you expect Donald Trump’s presidency to have on healthcare?

“Death, pestilence, disease, extreme poverty for the middle and lower classes,” one chief executive commented, noting such dire circumstances would occur alongside “a rise in healthcare premiums, a rise in healthcare costs, loss of healthcare entirely, non-existent benefits, record breaking profits for big pharma and big healthcare — and world economic collapse.”

That was perhaps the darkest of the anonymous responses that came in when we surveyed Healthcare IT News and Healthcare Finance readers but that CEO was hardly alone in taking a negative view.

“Doing away with some ACA provisions will be a disaster for women's health, behavioral health, the disabled and those with pre-existing conditions,” a senior clinical business analyst said. “Healthcare quality will also decline if the federal standards are removed. It will be a total disaster.”

 Election 2016 reader survey results:
 ✓ Health IT pros overwhelmingly unhappy Trump won
 ✓ Execs express dystopian view of Trump presidency
 ✓ What C-suite execs expect when Trump takes over
 ✓ 100 things insiders said about Trump's healthcare plans

Other respondents added that a Trump presidency would set the U.S. healthcare system back in time.

“Due to the lack of his understanding healthcare, he will push the system backward by at least 25 years,” a retired healthcare administrator noted. “Patient care will suffer and provider fraud will increase because of poor documentation.”

We conducted the web-based survey for approximately 24 hours beginning on Nov. 9. Among the 165 respondents, 67 percent are not happy that Trump was elected while 20 percent are pleased and the remaining 13 percent indicated that it’s too soon to tell. 

Due to the overwhelming majority of respondents being unhappy that Trump won, it’s not surprising that fewer participants left positive comments. Among those who did, however, a CIO said that a Trump presidency brings “welcome change, allows free enterprise back into healthcare and allows patients to manage their health, not government agencies.”

An informatics manager also glad Trump beat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton expects Trump to repeal Obamacare and that action, in turn, would “allow companies to be more competitive and sell insurance across state lines. More coverage, lower costs, providers will have more control over how they treat their patients, hospitals will be able to provide more services and spend less on meeting multiple regulations.”

A healthcare strategic vice president who is among those saying its too early to tell how things might work out in the long-run, meanwhile, noted that implementing policy changes at the federal government level is almost always a slow process.

“It takes a significant amount of time to turn a ship,” the VP said. “Policy will likely take years to shift, even if the ACA is overturned.”

And a CEO who skipped the question about being pleased or not that Trump won said that since Republicans now control the House, the Senate and the White House, they must do something.

“They are going to have to be aggressive but cautious and also worry about getting legislation past the filibuster vote in the Democratic Senate,” the CEO added. “The reality is that there has to be some compromise to change the system.”

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